Monitoring tech can warn facility managers before equipment breakdown

July 29, 2019 at 12:37 p.m.
Monitoring tech can warn facility managers  before equipment breakdown
Monitoring tech can warn facility managers before equipment breakdown


Story by EmmaLee Italia | Correspondent

For many parishes, schools and facilities, faulty heating and cooling equipment can cause significant property loss and monetary setbacks over time or during harsh weather.

The cumulative costs resulting from this damage across the Diocese are sobering: an average $450,000 per year in insurance claims, and deductibles of up to $2,000 per claim, which contributes to rising insurance costs.

But most of these losses are preventable by utilizing the latest in monitoring equipment. As part of a pilot program, the Diocese has partnered with the sensor technology division of The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company (HSB), installing monitoring equipment in the Chancery and a nearby convent, both in Lawrenceville, as well as in the facilities of St. Joseph Parish, Toms River, and St. Clement Parish, Matawan.

Before the Storm

The Diocese has used HSB’s services for many years; the company provides boiler and machinery insurance coverage for all Diocesan properties and does all the inspection work for state-required certificates for hot water and steam boiler heating systems. When Joe Cahill, diocesan director of risk management, heard of HSB’s use of monitoring equipment, he immediately saw the potential.

“Loss prevention is our biggest concern,” said Cahill, who noted that even facilities with newer equipment can still have costly repairs when temperatures drop. “With the sensor technology, we can often anticipate an issue and get it repaired before it causes costly damage. The frozen and broken pipes this winter have cost us almost $800,000, nearly double our past 10-year average.”

The equipment HSB provides uses a digital system that allows for remote monitoring.  Site managers can make use of a mobile app to read temperature, humidity and presence of water data wherever sensors are placed: pipes, walls, floors, etc.

Cahill explained that the equipment works in any environment. “The sensors are battery operated, so the system is wireless, and the batteries last three years.”

Each sensor records data at regular intervals, as often as every 15 minutes. “The system uses smart software, which recognizes patterns over time,” Cahill said. If temperatures or humidity don’t return to an anticipated set point, the sensor will send an alert to the designated site contacts.

 “A site manager can see if the thermostat is faulty or just set too high or low, or if a pipe temperature is getting close to freezing – and they can get it repaired before something breaks,” Cahill explained.

Known for its innovative products since the company was established in 1866, HSB began researching the sensor technology five years ago, and has tested hundreds of sensor technologies and providers, said Jamie Rosenkrantz, who is the firm’s project manager for the Diocese of Trenton/HSB pilot. Using information from research and development and local pilots, HSB eventually launched a full-scale commercial program for houses of worship across the country.

Known as IoT, (Internet of Things) the system is “the natural evolution of our innovative spirit,” according to Rosenkrantz.  “It’s not just about sensor technology … it’s about 24-hour customer service, support and peace of mind,” she said.

Saving in Real Time

Since May 2017, the pilot program has already begun to prove its worth. St. Clement Parish was able to save thousands of dollars’ worth of groceries when the sensor on a walk-in refrigerator sent a temperature alert. St. Joseph School and Parish also avoided expensive water damage when a sensor exposed a water leak in a trailer being used for classroom space.

Mike Penner, who manages the facilities for St. Joseph Parish, concurred that participating in the pilot program with HSB has been beneficial.

 “In the first six months we had three early warnings that possibly saved thousands of dollars’ worth of damages,” he explained. “It’s a little peace of mind, since I can’t be in every place every hour of the day… The app is easy to use, and it’s on our smartphone, so it’s with us all the time.”

Another important element is customer feedback. Penner noted that HSB is using their responses to update and improve the technology, implementing changes as the pilot continues.

The plan is to have all facilities using the technology by the end of summer this year – but some parishes and schools are getting in line already.

“We’re going to roll it out in late summer / early fall [for the whole Diocese],” Cahill explained, “and we will do site surveys with HSB” to determine the needs of each property. By that time, he said, the third generation of the technology will be available, which requires even less hardware; everything comes in a kit, and can be easily set up and mounted with Command strips or zip ties.

“It’s neat and simple,” Cahill added. “We just want to get people excited.”

Parishes, schools and other diocesan entities interested in learning more or making an appointment to have a sensor tech evaluation can contact Joe Cahill, 609-406-7189, [email protected].

 

 

[[In-content Ad]]

Related Stories

Story by EmmaLee Italia | Correspondent

For many parishes, schools and facilities, faulty heating and cooling equipment can cause significant property loss and monetary setbacks over time or during harsh weather.

The cumulative costs resulting from this damage across the Diocese are sobering: an average $450,000 per year in insurance claims, and deductibles of up to $2,000 per claim, which contributes to rising insurance costs.

But most of these losses are preventable by utilizing the latest in monitoring equipment. As part of a pilot program, the Diocese has partnered with the sensor technology division of The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company (HSB), installing monitoring equipment in the Chancery and a nearby convent, both in Lawrenceville, as well as in the facilities of St. Joseph Parish, Toms River, and St. Clement Parish, Matawan.

Before the Storm

The Diocese has used HSB’s services for many years; the company provides boiler and machinery insurance coverage for all Diocesan properties and does all the inspection work for state-required certificates for hot water and steam boiler heating systems. When Joe Cahill, diocesan director of risk management, heard of HSB’s use of monitoring equipment, he immediately saw the potential.

“Loss prevention is our biggest concern,” said Cahill, who noted that even facilities with newer equipment can still have costly repairs when temperatures drop. “With the sensor technology, we can often anticipate an issue and get it repaired before it causes costly damage. The frozen and broken pipes this winter have cost us almost $800,000, nearly double our past 10-year average.”

The equipment HSB provides uses a digital system that allows for remote monitoring.  Site managers can make use of a mobile app to read temperature, humidity and presence of water data wherever sensors are placed: pipes, walls, floors, etc.

Cahill explained that the equipment works in any environment. “The sensors are battery operated, so the system is wireless, and the batteries last three years.”

Each sensor records data at regular intervals, as often as every 15 minutes. “The system uses smart software, which recognizes patterns over time,” Cahill said. If temperatures or humidity don’t return to an anticipated set point, the sensor will send an alert to the designated site contacts.

 “A site manager can see if the thermostat is faulty or just set too high or low, or if a pipe temperature is getting close to freezing – and they can get it repaired before something breaks,” Cahill explained.

Known for its innovative products since the company was established in 1866, HSB began researching the sensor technology five years ago, and has tested hundreds of sensor technologies and providers, said Jamie Rosenkrantz, who is the firm’s project manager for the Diocese of Trenton/HSB pilot. Using information from research and development and local pilots, HSB eventually launched a full-scale commercial program for houses of worship across the country.

Known as IoT, (Internet of Things) the system is “the natural evolution of our innovative spirit,” according to Rosenkrantz.  “It’s not just about sensor technology … it’s about 24-hour customer service, support and peace of mind,” she said.

Saving in Real Time

Since May 2017, the pilot program has already begun to prove its worth. St. Clement Parish was able to save thousands of dollars’ worth of groceries when the sensor on a walk-in refrigerator sent a temperature alert. St. Joseph School and Parish also avoided expensive water damage when a sensor exposed a water leak in a trailer being used for classroom space.

Mike Penner, who manages the facilities for St. Joseph Parish, concurred that participating in the pilot program with HSB has been beneficial.

 “In the first six months we had three early warnings that possibly saved thousands of dollars’ worth of damages,” he explained. “It’s a little peace of mind, since I can’t be in every place every hour of the day… The app is easy to use, and it’s on our smartphone, so it’s with us all the time.”

Another important element is customer feedback. Penner noted that HSB is using their responses to update and improve the technology, implementing changes as the pilot continues.

The plan is to have all facilities using the technology by the end of summer this year – but some parishes and schools are getting in line already.

“We’re going to roll it out in late summer / early fall [for the whole Diocese],” Cahill explained, “and we will do site surveys with HSB” to determine the needs of each property. By that time, he said, the third generation of the technology will be available, which requires even less hardware; everything comes in a kit, and can be easily set up and mounted with Command strips or zip ties.

“It’s neat and simple,” Cahill added. “We just want to get people excited.”

Parishes, schools and other diocesan entities interested in learning more or making an appointment to have a sensor tech evaluation can contact Joe Cahill, 609-406-7189, [email protected].

 

 

[[In-content Ad]]
Have a news tip? Email [email protected] or Call/Text 360-922-3092

e-Edition


e-edition

Sign up


for our email newsletters

Weekly Top Stories

Sign up to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every Sunday

Daily Updates & Breaking News Alerts

Sign up to get our daily updates and breaking news alerts delivered to your inbox daily

Latest Stories


Pope swaps jokes with comedy stars at Vatican
As they waited for Pope Francis to arrive at the Clementine Hall ...

Priest who was early victim of Poland's communist regime to be beatified June 15
Father Michal Rapacz, an early victim of Poland's communist regime...

Bishops OK Indigenous ministry pastoral plan; healing, mission, reconciliation among its aims
The U.S. Catholic bishops have approved a new pastoral plan...

World needs urgent political action to guide AI, Pope tells G7
Political leaders have a responsibility to create the conditions necessary...

Father Koch: A Simple Seed Stands as a Powerful Symbol of Transformation
After his confrontation with the scribes from Jerusalem...


The Evangelist, 40 North Main Ave., Albany, NY, 12203-1422 | PHONE: 518-453-6688| FAX: 518-453-8448
© 2024 Trenton Monitor, All Rights Reserved.